By Tia Lynn Ivey
Madison Mayor Fred Perriman released a video last Thursday to encourage all citizens to “stay the course” to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the highly contagious and potentially-lethal coronavirus currently plaguing the world. Perriman urged citizens not to ease up on social distancing efforts just yet, noting that the long-term health of the community is dependent on citizens cooperating with stay-at-home orders and other mitigation policies.
“As your Mayor, I wanted to take a moment during this crisis, where community cooperation is so vital, to express my gratitude and count some blessings,” said Perriman. “To each individual in Madison and to those from outside our city who work here, I appreciate your compliance with our measures to protect public health. We know it is not easy to work at home and homeschool at the same time. We know it is not easy to keep the teenagers inside or even home. We know it is not fun to wipe down shopping carts, forgo dining out, or miss out on special occasions or holidays with family and friends. But we are very fortunate to live in a small, rural community where we care about one another and understand clearly that our actions today impact the health of a neighbor’s child, a friend’s grandmother, or someone in your household.”
Perriman assured citizens that local government is still functioning and serving the needs of the community.
“City Manager David Nunn assures me that city services continue uninterrupted. Following public health guidelines, I am hopeful our workforce will stay as healthy as possible and continue to provide a high quality of life for all of our residents,” said Perriman.
Perriman praised all local “essential workers” for continuing to ensure vital services to the community are provided.
“On behalf of the City, I want to offer a word of encouragement to local healthcare providers and first responders. You have been, and continue to be, life savers in our community. You are appreciated. You are valued. What you do matters, and that you are willing to do it, matters more. Thank you,” said Perriman.
“To our business community, I want to thank you sincerely for your cooperation. We know that this is a time of worry and struggle for many of you. Local businesses have taken steps to protect their staff and customers when first asked by the Council to adhere to a local shelter-in-place policy and now with the Governor echoing that at a state level. I want to encourage the local community to continue to do business locally, using the creative customer-friendly business solutions provided by our restaurants and retailers. Each of us want to be personally safe and we want our business community to survive.”
Perriman drew upon his own faith during this time of crisis in the country and across the world and encouraged others to press on while complying with social distancing and forgoing in-person church services and meetings.
“Personally, as a pastor, I want to say that I know it is very difficult for all of us to try alternative options for worship or to stay at home during a time when faith is so necessary and reassuring,” said Perriman. “However, I believe this trial offers a test of how willing we are to place others before self. Please continue to attend online services and reach out to your brothers and sisters by phone or email instead of gathering. Our faith-based community is strong and is not so limited as to have to be in the same room.”
Perriman also encouraged citizens to stay positive and kind to each other.
“And last, please continue to offer a smile when it is not covered and a wave across the property line. Social distancing can be challenging to everyone’s mental health and mood. I hope that each of us will continue to do our very best to protect one another and offer an emotional boost whenever the moment presents itself,” said Perriman. “Please don’t let your guard down yet. Continue to adhere to social distancing requirements. The health of our community depends on you.”